When the German Jewish refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff founded Blue Note in New York in 1939, they gave the artists complete freedom and encouraged them to compose new music. Their visionary and uncompromising approach led to records that not only revolutionized jazz, but also had a lasting impact on art and music, including hip hop.
The present is the starting point from which the film explores the past. Legendary artists Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter will meet today's generation of groundbreaking Blue Note artists such as Robert Glasper and Ambrose Akinmusire to record an All-Stars album.
In addition, rare archive material and conversations with Blue Note musicians provide an intimate insight into the origins and philosophy of some of the most significant songs in jazz history. These considerations lead us back to the influential personalities of the past on which the heritage of Blue Note is built: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Miles Davis.
The film conveys all the values that jazz has always embodied and promoted Blue Note: Freedom of expression, equality, dialogue - attitudes that are as urgent and topical today as they were when the label was founded.